Day 7 -Traffic

Well Howard Dragons, both morning and afternoon were smooth.  Safety and efficiency were achieved today and cars were cleared by 3:41 (6 mins) this afternoon.  Remember for indoor line up days, students can enter the building as soon as 8:25 am to line up so they will not be out in the cold when real feel temperatures are below 20.  If they are coming in for breakfast, they can come indoors as soon as they get to school and will then move from the lobby to the cafeteria at 8:10 am.

Great job to all!

Image result for happy dance

Traffic Day 5

Good Evening.

To maintain communication for the next week on any adjustments that need to be made to traffic I will continue the updates.  The bus pick up location ran very smoothly and calmly for students who take the bus.  Thank you to all of the staff out there supporting the bus students.  Also, much appreciation goes out to the entire staff who was all outside to assist with afterschool.  The Howard teachers have all joined together as the strong team we are to take on a supervision area around the school for dismissal.

Today went very well both morning and afternoon.  We now have access to the bus lane.  Therefore in order to help you move through the dismissal process quicker, please follow the following tips.

  •  Students will be waiting in the bus lane area (curb marked in yellow).  This will be the pick up location and will help to load up to 7 cars at a time instead of one or two while making more room further north for more cars to clear the crosswalk.
  • Make sure you pull all the way up into the old bus lane in order to pick up your child.
  • Please stay in a single line along the curb in order to keep the flow moving.  Only move into the center (passing) lane if your students are already in your car.  Think of traffic when there is a lane closure, if people try to pull up and re-enter traffic at the last minute it slows everything down.  The sooner cars get into one lane, the faster traffic picks up.
  • Oldest students will still be meeting their younger siblings so that you can pick up all students at one stop unless you have made different arrangements with your child’s teacher.
  • 3rd and 4th grade still exit the building at Lawrence so please pick up students in those grades there unless they are coming to the front to meet their younger siblings.
  • As always, make sure you are paying attention to pedestrians crossing York especially at Oak and Edward.  The walking families truly appreciate your cooperation and have communicated that they are feeling less stress crossing the streets.

We will continue to make adjustments as necessary.  It takes everyone and we appreciate you!

Traffic – Day 4 am/pm

Yesterday was a very smooth day for both AM and PM traffic.  We actually broke both an Arrival and Dismissal record.  The street was cleared by 8:40 am meaning more studnets were in class on time and by 3:42 pm setting our pick up record at 7 calm and organized minutes!

Today we will begin the bus pick up on the Mildred side of the building.  I want you to know that I have heard some of the concern with this strategy, and your feedback is greatly valued.  The concern that has been expressed is that students would have to walk from the sidewalk, down the path to the line up door at the back of the building.  Please keep in mind the following:

  • Due to the size of the property, bus students have always walked to their line up location.  The original bus drop off in the front is not centrally located with regards to line up doors and drops off closer to the Oak/York corner.  Based on the current bus drop off, 3rd and 4th graders have already been walking from that corner on N. York to Lawerence where their line up door is.  This has been occuring prior to and including this school year.  (This is the length of the entire front of the school property and around the corner)
  • Students will not be walking around the building but will be using the path through the playground to cut across the property and have been designated a line up door at a location near the playground.  This is a secure path and away from street traffic.
  • They will be supervised at the drop off location and the line up location and in between by Staff, Student Rangers, and Safety Squad.

Thank you again for your patience and support.


Mrs. Lazar

A Heartfelt Message

As we have been interacting more closely with parents during arrival and dismissal, I have made several observations and one really struck me over the past few days:  It was cell phone usage.  While a hands-free option for cell phones is the safest while driving, it goes a little beyond that.  Sometimes its about perspective:  “the grass is always greener on the other side” and other similar sentiments.  Like many of you, as a working parent, I seldom have the privilege to battle traffic at my daughter’s school and be the one to pick her up or drop her off or for students who take the bus, it would be to be able to be the parent waiting at the bus stop.   On the days that I can, I think I am more excited than she is.  Yes, you read that correctly, I get excited about being the driver in congested traffic at a school.  You may be thinking its because I don’t have to do it everyday, but in a way I do by being a part of it every day at our school.

I have watched how excited our students are as they yell out “There is my mom/dad” as soon as they see you pull up to Howard.   Take advantage of that moment of excitement when you can to end your phone call if possible (some calls we have to take), let the children see your focus is on them when you pull up, and use the car ride to talk to them about their day.   Getting my daughter to talk about school is like “pulling teeth” as they say.  I have found some of the questions listed on the websites below to be helpful for me.

P.S.  While we tend to focus on what’s happening in front of the school, I want to also thank the parents who are out there at the bus stops in the neighborhood watching out for our students.  While we don’t see you, we know you’re there!  We appreciate you!  Seeing the mom I pass on Cherry Hill near Military in the morning makes me smile as I drive by.

Have a wonderful weekend!


50 Questions To Ask Your Kids Instead Of Asking “How Was Your Day”



More Traffic Updates!!!

As communicated in our posts regarding traffic, we have been working on several different strategies to help ease the traffic volume on N. York.  I can now share one of these strategies.  This strategy involved a collaboration with our District Transportation Department.  In order to further ease congestion,


we are going to try having the buses pick up and drop of the students on Mildred instead of N. York.  What this means is that we can utilize more of the space in front of the school because it will no longer be a bus lane, therefore, drop off and pick up will be permitted in that space.

Like all other aspects of this plan, this will be a trial for the next few weeks when we will reevaluate the success or challenges of this strategy.  If this effects your students who bus, please see the attachment below for more detailed information.  Thank you to the bus drivers and Transportation Department for being so flexible and putting Students First.

Bus Locations At Howard


Traffic Day 3 – Morning

Happy Friday!

Traffic this morning went very smoothly.  For parents who got caught in a little bit of a back up, the slow down was a result of so many cars pulling up to the school at the same time (8:35 am).  Prior to 8:35, there was a lot of space along the drop off lane.  Just a reminder, students should already be out of the cars and walking into the school at 8:35 am to help classes get started on time.  Go Team!!

Traffic- Day 2 Morning

Good Day to All!

Our Day two arrival went very smoothly.  While it may feel like it is taking longer because it is one moving line, in actuality, it took less time today.  On an average day, there are still cars lined up for drop off at 8:43 am.  This morning, the majority of the cars were cleared by 8:38 am which means that more students were in class on time!  Thank you again for the great support.  

The efforts that will help with morning traffic:

  • Leave the house a little early so that we are not all rushing to arrive at the same time
  • Consider dropping students off between 8:10 and 8:25 so they can enjoy a free breakfast in the warm cafeteria with friends where they will remain in the building until its time to line up

A few reminders:

  • The entrance bell rings at 8:35 which means students should be arriving at school earlier than that.  This also gives them a chance to socialize, chatting with friends before entering class where they can engage in conversations sharing things that happened the night before, prior to entering class.  As a result, they will have gotten out some wiggles and will have increased readiness to begin their academic focus at a more relaxed pace.
  • The TARDY bell rings at 8:40.  This means that instruction begins at 8:40.
  • When the “real feel” is below 20 degrees, students come inside for line up.
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